What Is Fashion?
The term “fashion” can mean many different things to many different people, depending on their definition. For some, fashion is simply a style of dress and/or footwear; for others it is something to do with the body and shape, such as what is considered sexy or a particular physical trait. Fashion is also a form of autonomy and self-expression in a certain time and situation and in a certain context, in terms of clothes, footwear, style, makeup, hairstyles, and even body posture. In its more common use, however, the word actually refers to a fashion style or aesthetic sense determined by the fashion industry. This industry dictates, through marketing, advertising, social influence, and even social consciousness among other things, what is popular, what is trendy, what is considered “in” (which can include cultural references), and so forth.
So, why is fashion so popular? One of the most popular reasons is because it allows people to express themselves. One may choose to express themselves through their appearance, or they may choose to express themselves by their personality, or even their beliefs (for example, those who are considered to be socially liberal but interested in political or philosophical issues might choose to wear conservative or even radical clothing). Additionally, fashion is a platform for social learning. People are forced to pay attention and look carefully at what they are wearing, particularly if it is unique, unusual, or in an unusual color or style. As such many times people are willing to experiment with their appearance in order to see what looks best or most comfortable.
Finally, the definition of fashion is constantly changing. A decade ago, “cheap” was synonymous with low quality, and people were willing to spend money on clothing that looked nice. However, in recent years, cheap has been associated with inferior fashion and poor quality. Today, it is more about trying to find the middle ground rather than spending a fortune on the latest trend.